MReport October 2020

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M REPORT | 63 SECONDARY MARKET THE LATEST O R I G I NAT I O N S E R V I C I N G DATA G O V E R N M E N T S E C O N DA R Y M A R K E T House Committee Hears Testimony on FHFA's Pandemic Response Director Mark Calabria said the agency acted "swiftly" and "prudently" to respond to COVID-19. T he House Financial Ser- vices Committee (FSC) heard testimony from FHFA Director Mark Calabria on his agency's response to the pandemic. In advance of the hearing, which was entitled "Prioritizing Fannie's and Freddie's Capital Over America's Homeowners and Renters? A Review of the Federal Housing Finance Agency's Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic," the FHFA published Calabria's statement. The (FHFA), Calabria said, "has acted swiftly and prudently to respond to COVID-19. Thanks in part to our efforts, the housing market has largely been a bright spot in the pandemic economic data. We continue to update our policies as the challenges facing renters, borrowers, and market participants evolve." He began his testimony by out- lining the agency's first response to the pandemic, which was tran- sitioning its own staff to a virtual environment. He went on to highlight the sig- nificant amount of data on trends in the housing and mortgage markets collected by the FHFA. Said data "enables the Agency to respond appropriately to market developments, promote market efficiency and stability, and dis- seminate information to improve the public's understanding of housing finance markets," Calabria said. "Economic research and data analytics are core competencies of effective safety and soundness supervision, which is essential to preparing the Agency and the Enterprises to responsibly exit and operate safely outside of conserva- torship. That is why, from the be- ginning of my term, one of my top priorities has been to strengthen FHFA's research and data analysis capabilities." Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-California), FSC Chairwoman, also provided a statement in which she noted that, "short of a vaccine, our homes and the ability to shel- ter in place are the greatest protec- tion we currently have against COVID-19." The hearing, she said, was important, for reasons including, that "the U.S. Census Pulse Survey recently found that 8.4 million homeowners and 8.2 million renters are behind on their rent and mortgage payments." Calabria said the FHFA's top priorities have included "to support renters and homeown- ers struggling to pay for housing because of COVID-19." To do this, Calabria said the Agency has directed the GSEs to put in place certain protections. "The Enterprises own or guarantee approximately $6.0 trillion in mort- gages. That includes about 43% of multifamily units, about 8.6 million households, and more than half of single-family mortgages. FHFA's policies apply to all single-family homeowners and multifamily prop- erty owners with an Enterprise- backed mortgage. FHFA's policies also help to set workable standards for the entire market." The FHFA he said has protected more than 28 million homeown- ers and enabled roughly 200,000 families facing foreclosure pre– COVID-19 to stay in their homes. "As a staffer on the Senate Banking Committee during the 2008 financial crisis," he said. "I saw firsthand the importance of resisting the pressure to "act first, analyze later" that arises in a pe- riod of financial stress. In a crisis, panic can lead to ill-conceived policy responses and send con- founding signals to the market. It is imperative to remain calm and make decisions based on careful, thoughtful analysis of the most up-to-date data available." FHFA: New Data Will Enhance GSEs' 'Duty to Serve' Program The public database "provides stakeholders in the housing and mortgage sectors with critical data." T he Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has revised the datasets for the Public Use Data- bases (PUDBs) of single-family and multifamily mortgage acquisitions by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The revisions include newly available 2019 data and final versions of data for 2018. This includes 25 new data elements for the 2018 and 2019 Single-Family Census Tract files, which provide statistics on the loan-to-value ratio of properties and the debt-to- income ratio of borrowers. Also being added are 21 new data elements in the Multifamily Census Tract files, including the number of units in the property. The additions to the Single-Family and Multifamily Census Tract files feature geographic indicators to enhance the government-sponsored enterprises' Duty to Serve Program. These additions will replace the interim files uploaded in September 2019. According to the FHFA, the revised PUDBs also feature "additional loan-level data that increases their alignment with information reported under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act." This additional data is designed to bring greater transparency to understanding Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's impact on local economies will offering more information to the public about their roles within the secondary mortgage market. "FHFA is pleased to release the new and revised Enterprise PUDB files," said Lynn Fisher, Deputy Director of the Division of Research and Statistics. "The PUDB provides stakeholders in the housing and mortgage sectors with critical data concerning the Enterprises' acquisition of mortgages nationwide and at the local level." The datasets are available at Pages/Public-Use-Databases.aspx. The FHFA also maintains the datasets for prior years.

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